Beach closure signs are required when beach water quality testing or known sewage spills indicate that a health threat exists to swimmers due to high bacteria levels. Bacteria can increase in rivers and beaches from storm water and urban runoff entering the storm drains that have come into contact with fecal matter (animal waste, including pet waste), excessive green or garden waste, fertilizers and other materials. When water quality test results do not meet State health standards, or there is a suspected sewage or chemical impact to recreational waters, the Beach and Bay Water Quality Program (San Diego County) issues advisories and closures to inform the public. These postings are required by the County Health Department and are generally posted by a Beach and Bay Water Quality Staff Member. Once an advisory or closure has been issued, the Beach and Bay Water Quality Program will revisit the area to collect a resample. Sample results are received between 24-48 hours. Once samples indicate water quality is within State health standards, the postings are lifted by either program staff or lifeguards. The City’s lifeguards are notified by the County Health Department regarding posting requirements and can provide additional information.
Additional beach water quality information may be obtained through the following resources:
- County of San Diego Beach and Bay Water Quality Program website (http://www.sdbeachinfo.com/);
- County of San Diego Beach and Bay Water Quality hotline: 619-338-2073;
- Heal the Bay Beach Report Card for grades based on a 30-day period (http://beachreportcard.org/); or
- Contact the City of Del Mar Clean Water Program at 858-704-3652.